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Covid-19

Authorities laudably supportive of grid-tied Pan African solar project – coordinator 

By: Martin Creamer     22nd September 2020 The authorities have been laudably supportive of the R150-million grid-tied photovoltaic solar project that is to be built to supply electricity to Pan African Resources’ highly successful Elikhulu tailings retreatment plant in Evander, Mpumalanga. The nigh-10 MW solar plant, which is expected to... 

TIPS Tracker: The economy and the pandemic

21st September 2020 Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies' (TIPS's) 'Tracker: The economy and the pandemic' highlights important trends in the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and how they affect the economy. Since August 18, when the country moved to Level 2 of the lockdown, the number of cases has plateaued at... 

Economic pinch puts spotlight on green building

By: Simone Liedtke     21st September 2020 South Africa’s construction industry continues to suffer the effects of the national lockdown, a consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic. Unexpected delays and disruptions have resulted in increasing construction costs, which have had a knock-on effect for both developers and end-users, says student... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     21st September 2020 Significant cost reduction efforts, coupled with stringent controls over working capital, helped to reduce the impact of Covid-19-related restrictions on aluminium supplier Hulamin's performance for the six months ended June 30, CEO Richard Jacob said on September 21. The company noted that cost... 

Hulamin expects to return to profitability in the second half of this year
Richard Jacob

Global chromium production impacted by Covid-19 outbreak, says ICDA

By: Schalk Burger     21st September 2020 Global chromium production impacted by Covid-19 outbreak, says ICDA Chromium production and consumption remained constrained during the second quarter of this year, in line with lockdown restrictions implemented in various countries, says the International Chromium Development Association (ICDA). 

UIF TERS payments to resume

By: Simone Liedtke     21st September 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) is set to resume its Covid-19 Temporary Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) benefits payments on September 21. UIF acting commissioning Marsha Bronkhorst said a payment plan would be run for all outstanding payments for April, May and June over September 21 and 22,... 

BLSA’s Mavuso calls for urgency in implementation of economic recovery plan 

By: Simone Liedtke     21st September 2020 South Africa’s move to Alert Level 1 in the Covid-19-induced lockdown is “the right one”, as this means that more of the economy can function, and “more people can get back to work”, says Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso. In her weekly newsletter on September 21, Mavuso... 

AngloGold reinstates guidance on growing certainty 

By: Martin Creamer     21st September 2020 Gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti on Monday reinstated annual guidance on improved operating certainty amid the Covid-19 pandemic and in anticipation of the conclusion of the sale of its South African assets at the end of this month. All conditions precedent have been met with respect to the... 

AngloGold reinstates guidance on growing certainty
AngloGold Ashanti acting CEO Christine Ramon

Busa’s Pityana stresses need for approval, implementation of Economic Recovery Action Plan 

By: Simone Liedtke     18th September 2020 Business Unity South Africa (Busa) President Sipho Pityana has called for a “more empathetic approach” with South Africa recently passing two important milestones on the road to salvaging its battered economy. These milestones comprise the Covid-19 lockdown having been scaled down to Alert Level... 

Open borders lauded by tourism stakeholders

By: Donna Slater     18th September 2020 Stakeholders in the tourism industry have lauded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s decision to allow restricted international travel to South Africa to resume as an effort to help rebuild the tourism and hospitality industry in South Africa. This sentiment was conveyed during a Governance... 

Venture capital set for slowdown after record 2019 performance

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th September 2020 While South African venture capital (VC) investors may have seen a significant slowdown in deal activity this year as a result of measures implemented globally to contain the spread of Covid-19, the local VC landscape experienced record investment and exit activity in 2019. This is according... 

ATNS launches virtual Aviation Training Academy

By: Donna Slater     18th September 2020 With Covid-19 restrictions, Air Traffic and Navigation Services (ATNS) is piloting virtual training through its Aviation Training Academy. ATNS’ Aviation Training Academy offers aviation training to several countries in Africa since it was certified as a training institution in 1996.  

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

By: Simone Liedtke     18th September 2020 As the world becomes more connected through information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT), ABB local division manager for mining solutions John Manuell warns that cybersecurity will need “to remain front of mind”. With the advent and increasing use of digital technologies,... 

Cybersecurity has to remain ‘front of mind’ for miners, says panel

Economists lament ‘missed opportunity’ of another repo rate cut

By: Simone Liedtke     17th September 2020 While the decision to leave interest rates unchanged at 3.5% is “disappointing”, North West University Business School economist Professor Raymond Parsons says South Africa’s basic policy priorities should now focus on “urgently implementing overdue economic reforms and ensuring security of... 

Egoli likely to be S Africa’s least complicated underground gold mine – Pan African  

By: Martin Creamer     17th September 2020 What is expected to be South Africa’s least complicated underground gold mine is on the way at Evander, Mpumalanga, in the form of the Egoli gold project. Planning to bring the low-capital quick-return project to life is Pan African Resources, the London-, Johannesburg- and New York-listed... 

Egoli likely to be S Africa’s least complicated underground gold mine – Pan African
Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer interviews Pan African Resources CEO Cobus Loots. Video: Darlene Creamer.

SA must now face corruption and second wave threat, warns business lobby 

By: News24Wire      17th September 2020 Business 4 South Africa’s co-chair Martin Kingston joined President Cyril Ramaphosa's calls for the country to remain vigilant against Covid-19, as well as corruption within state procurement aimed at responding to the pandemic, as South Africa further lifts restrictions. Ramaphosa announced on... 

SA must now face corruption and second wave threat, warns business lobby
Photo by Creamer Media
B4SA co-chair Martin Kingston

CDH lawyer warns of retrenchment pitfalls

By: Simone Liedtke     17th September 2020 With a continued low economic growth rate and rising unemployment still painting a bleak picture for South Africa, law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr (CDH director Jose Jorge warns that companies will “continue to tighten their belts” in the months ahead, meaning more job losses are likely on the... 

Economy breathes welcome sigh for Level 1, while alcohol, travel industries remain aggrieved

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th September 2020 With President Cyril Ramaphosa having announced the move to a Level 1 lockdown for South Africa, effective September 20, positive reactions have been streaming in from all spheres of the economy, but grievances around weekend alcohol sales, the curfew and only partially reopened borders remain.... 

Economy breathes welcome sigh for Level 1, while alcohol, travel industries remain aggrieved

Ramaphosa announces move to Level 1: 'Prepare for the new normal'

By: News24Wire      16th September 2020 President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that South Africa will move to Alert Level 1 of the lockdown at midnight on Sunday. This will see larger gatherings being permitted, along with international travel, the sale of alcohol allowed from Monday to Friday, and the curfew shifted to midnight. 

Ramaphosa announces move to Level 1: 'Prepare for the new normal'
President Cyril Ramaphosa

Solar to provide most of gold plants’ daytime power – Pan African  

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2020 The 10 MW solar electricity plant that Pan African Resources will construct on site at its Elikhulu gold-from-tailings plant next year at a cost of R150-million will take care of most of Elikhulu’s daytime power requirements. This is the first phase of solar power generation at Evander. Pan... 

Solar to provide most of gold plants’ daytime power – Pan African
Pan African Resources results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Mbalula launches beefed up PRASA protection service  

By: Donna Slater     16th September 2020 The Department of Transport and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on September 16 launched the multidisciplinary Ministerial Integrated Security Plan, which involves the employment and deployment of an additional 3 100 security personnel to monitor and protect rail... 

Mbalula launches beefed up PRASA protection service
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula inspects a portion of the new PRASA protection officers at the Rhodesfield train station

Renewables body optimistic next bidding round can be ‘expedited’

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2020 The South African Renewable Energy Council (Sarec) expressed optimism on Wednesday that the long-awaited fifth bid window (BW5) of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme could be fast-tracked in light of the energy regulator’s recent concurrence with a Ministerial... 

Renewables body optimistic next bidding round can be ‘expedited’

Pan African proposes record final dividend as headline earnings surge 

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2020 Gold mining company Pan African on Wednesday proposed a record final dividend after headline earnings surged 93% and net cash generated by operating activities rose by 42%. Mining Weekly can report that, in the 12 months to June 30, gold produced by the London-, Johannesburg- and New York-listed... 

Pan African proposes record final dividend as headline earnings surge
Photo by Creamer Media
Pan African CEO Cobus Loots

SAVE-P manufacturing underway, showcases local capabilities 

16th September 2020 Nonprofit organisation, the South African Emergency Ventilator Project, or SAVE-P, was launched in March in an effort to cost-effectively locally produce much-needed ventilators to meet an expected shortage. Natasha Odendaal tells us more. 

SAVE-P manufacturing underway, showcases local capabilities

CDC aiming to secure CEO replacement for long-serving Silinga by year-end 

By: Terence Creamer     16th September 2020 The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) has formally initiated a recruitment process to secure a replacement for its long-serving CEO, Pepi Silinga, who has been appointed CEO of Transnet National Ports Authority, effective October 1. The position has been advertised internally and externally and... 

CDC aiming to secure CEO replacement for long-serving Silinga by year-end
Pepi Silinga

Great opportunity to lock in higher gold price for future – Harmony  

By: Martin Creamer     16th September 2020 The current gold price presents a great opportunity to lock in the higher price for the future, says Harmony Gold FD Boipelo Lekubo, against the backdrop of Harmony’s hedging programme realising gains of R2.2-billion since its inception, but the recent dollar and rand gold prices also negatively... 

Great opportunity to lock in higher gold price for future – Harmony
Photo by Creamer Media
Harmony Gold financial director Boipelo Lekubo

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining

By: Simone Liedtke     15th September 2020 With many things having changed, never to be the same, Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel says of the power of technology: “It will always help people and organisations to adapt, re-invent and transform”. South Africa’s mining industry contributed R360-billion to the country's... 

Digital technologies drive transformation in mining
Microsoft South Africa enterprise director Amr Kamel

UIF announces final TERS application closing dates

By: Donna Slater     15th September 2020 The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has extended the processing of new claims for April to September following consultations with social partners at the National Economic Development and Labour Council. The new closing dates are final, with the UIF stating that no further applications for that... 

Mponeng integration presenting ‘wonderful opportunities’ – Harmony Gold  

By: Martin Creamer     15th September 2020 The integration of Mponeng underground gold mine and Mine Waste Solutions surface gold recovery operation into Harmony Gold was presenting “wonderful opportunities” in the West Wits area, Harmony CEO Peter Steenkamp said on Tuesday. Harmony, which will be on site at Mponeng and Mine Waste... 

Mponeng integration presenting ‘wonderful opportunities’ – Harmony Gold
Harmony Gold presentation of results covered by Mining Weekly’s Martin Creamer. Video: Darlene Creamer.

Half-yearly employer reconciliations, third-party declarations to Sars due

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th September 2020 The South African Revenue Service (Sars) says the interim employer reconciliation and third-party declaration period is now open and will close on October 31. In the case of employers – large and small − a reconciliation of the first six months of declarations of employment taxes, monthly... 

Bidvest delivers solid results in tough climate

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th September 2020 JSE-listed Bidvest Group delivered a credible financial performance for the financial year ended June 30, despite the headwinds presented by an already constrained South African economy pre-Covid-19 and the pandemic’s severe impact on the final quarter of the financial year. Group revenue from... 

Platinum’s new sweeter spot elicits multiplicity of optimistic analyst views 

By: Martin Creamer     14th September 2020 The new sweeter spot that platinum group metals has entered drew a multiplicity of mainly optimistic viewpoints from analysts attending the virtual PGM Industry Day. Chaired by business development manager Rand Merchant Bank Henk de Hoop, the viewpoints were provided by Standard Chartered Bank... 

Platinum’s new sweeter spot elicits multiplicity of optimistic analyst views
Photo by Creamer Media
(From left top) Simon Kendall, Patrick Mann, Mandi Dungwa. (From left bottom) Henk de Hoop, Suki Cooper.

IDC approves R746m for Covid-19 economic relief

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     14th September 2020 Development finance institution, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has approved R746-million and disbursed R440.8-million as part of government’s Covid-19 economic relief measures. Following the onset of Covid-19 in South Africa, the IDC established three interventions in March. 

DMRE targeting December for initiation of fifth renewables bid window 

By: Terence Creamer     14th September 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) has clarified that it is aiming to release bid documentation for the so-called fifth bid window (BW5) of South Africa’s renewable-energy procurement programme in December, following receipt of the regulator’s concurrence with a Ministerial... 

DMRE targeting December for initiation of fifth renewables bid window

Astral Foods ‘cautiously satisfied’ with earnings for the year

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Poultry producer Astral Foods has indicated that its earnings a share and headline earnings a share for the year ending September 30, are expected to be down by no more than 25% on the comparative period’s reported results. Astral CEO Chris Schutte on September 14 said Astral was “cautiously... 

BLSA’s Mavuso encourages accountability, delivery to improve business outlook

By: Simone Liedtke     14th September 2020 Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) CEO Busi Mavuso on September 14 emphasised the importance of accountability and delivery thereafter, particularly as the country continues to work towards driving the economic recovery after the Covid-19 crisis. While encouraged by President Cyril... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni

By: Reuters     14th September 2020 South Africa's economy will likely contract this year by more than the 7% previously forecast by the Treasury, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said in an opinion piece published on Sunday. Gross domestic product shrunk by a record 51% in the second quarter, its fourth quarterly contraction in a... 

Economy to shrink by more than government's 7% forecast in 2020 – Mboweni
Finance Minister Tito Mboweni
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